You Can’t Fool Mother Nature – Alberta & BC Must Rethink Western Pipeline After Haida Gwaii Earthquakes & Tsunami Warnings

"Origin - North Beach, Haida Gwaii" ©2012 Janice Tanton. Work In Progress. 40x72. Oil on linen.
“Origin – North Beach, Haida Gwaii” ©2012 Janice Tanton. Work In Progress. 40×72. Oil on linen.

“It’s Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature”

Tonight, in a turn of events involving a different type of oil, as “crude” as margarine when first introduced to Mother Nature, it’s pretty clear that she’s spoken loudly regarding her opinion on a western sea shipment and pipeline of oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to Kitimat, BC and into the waters surrounding that powerful island of Haida Gwaii to markets in China and beyond. At 3:04:10 UTC, at 52.769°N / 131.927°W an earthquake of 7.7 hit Haida Gwaii, followed by 14 aftershocks and counting at 2:52 am.

Haida Gwaii sits at the juncture of three tectonic plates, with a total of 10 fault lines. A bit like Mother Nature’s weak and ticklish spot, if you will. In discussions tonight with friends from Haida Gwaii and across the planet, I believe someone said something like this;

“This is a seismologist’s wet dream. They’ll be years looking at the data from this.”

In short, this area is as unstable  as the San Andreas fault, with a powerful oblique thrust that will put some kick in your behind. In fact, in Terrace BC, near where the pipeline would run, friends there said that it was the biggest @#$)(* shakeup they had ever felt. Friends in Queen Charlotte City (Haida Gwaii) said it felt like running through a speeding train.

The first earthquake measuring 7.7 eminated from the heart of Gwaii Haanas National Park as you can see from this map. I was right there this past June – should be able to find a photo of it in the morning when I’m a little less adrenalin-charged.

Gorgeous, primal seas, ocean and forests teeming with life, energy and the fluid supernatural spirit….and tons and tons of garbage from the tsunami in Japan. I know it…I picked up a bunch when I was there, as 2012 Gwaii Haanas National Park & Haida Heritage Site Artist In Residence. My tsunami garbage cleanup including a half-full Japanese kerosene can floating in the Juan Perez Sound and a giant Japanese dock float cruising along the south end of Moresby Island near world famous Unesco World Heritage site and Haida Heritage site – Sgung Gwaii.

We’re kidding ourselves if we think that it’s just Enbridge that is spurring this western pipeline route. Think hard…the government of Alberta – nay….the government of Canada… needs to get it’s oil to markets, and those markets are big and powerful and carry a lot of pressure (China, USA) ….but none of them are as powerful as Mother Nature who affects all of us, all of the time.

"State of Interdependence - Alliford Crossing, Haida Gwaii" ©2012 Janice Tanton. 40x72. Oil on linen.
“State of Interdependence – Alliford Crossing, Haida Gwaii” ©2012 Janice Tanton. 40×72. Oil on linen. Work in progress.

Let’s take a wild trip and figure out what might have happened if an oil tanker was caught in the tsunami. No…let’s not. That’s easy to imagine and it’s way too close to Halloween to be drawing analogies of disaster, death and doom in 2012. The signs are everywhere. Open your eyes. Have a look at where dirty crude could land…and think about the land route from Alberta, across mountainous regions of BC in a steel pipeline.

Tsunami Propogation Chart - October 28, 2012. Earthquakes from Haida Gwaii.
Tsunami Propogation Chart – October 28, 2012. Earthquakes from Haida Gwaii.

What’s not easy to imagine is a solution to this issue. How do we think through logical, sensible, safe routes? How do we have sensible, authentic dialogues around solutions? How do we start thinking together with some form of honesty about this issue…together. I challenge Alberta and BC, and the government of Canada AND the rest of the planet to start thinking a bit more sensibly and listening to what is going on. Drop your thoughts about what party, corporation or not-for-profit that you’re aligned with, and spend that energy and time on solutions. I’m confident there’s a way….just not this one.

I’m signing off for the night – as folks in Hawaii evacuate their shorelines, I pray that the waters will calm. I pray that we’ll find a better way.

And I don’t ever want to have to say, “I told you so….but I did.”, said Mother Nature.



Related Articles:

Anatomy of an earthquake: what happened under the earth’s surface in Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii Residents Headed for the hills long before government posted warnings 

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